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Library Skills: OPAC Searching Searching by Subject.

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Presentation on theme: "Library Skills: OPAC Searching Searching by Subject."— Presentation transcript:


2 Library Skills: OPAC Searching Searching by Subject

3 OPAC stands for Online Public Access Catalog.

4 The library’s catalog is online and available from computers: in the library at home anywhere you can “be connected”!

5 The access points for successful searching are: 1. Author search 2. Title search 3. Subject search

6 Let’s visit the public library’s OPAC…to experiment with a subject search.

7 Pull down the Search menuChoose “Subject Browse”For a subject, let’s type in … nebraska

8 Our subject browse found a “subject heading” for “Nebraska”…with just 9 titles. 9 Titles!

9 Browse down the list, though, to see more subject headings about “Nebraska”-- Nebraska – Artists Nebraska – Blizzard, 1888 Nebraska – Capitol Nebraska – Cornhuskers (Football team) Nebraska – Floods Nebraska – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Regimental History

10 Nebraska – Artists Nebraska – Blizzard, 1888 Nebraska – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Regimental History Each of these is a “subject heading” —a word or group of words that describes the topic or subject of a library item:

11 Click on a subject heading to bring up the list of holdings—all of the items in the library that fit with that subject heading. Click the subject heading: Nebraska – Blizzard, 1888… …and a listing of these 4 items will appear.

12 The first item looks interesting. Let’s click on it and take a closer look… Click here!

13 A closer look at The Children’s Blizzard shows us that it has 7 subject headings. Each heading is a “hot link” to a listing of more items about that subject.

14 Look at the Middle West subject heading. ?

15 Middle West ? That is not a phrase that Nebraskans would normally use to identify our state. Midwest ? Yes! But Midwest is not a “proper” heading used by the Sears List of Subject Headings —the source of the library’s subject headings.

16 A subject browse for “Midwest” brings up… Nothing !

17 Midwest would be here!

18 As you can see, sometimes searching by subject heading can be tricky! Sometimes you have to do a bit of detective work to figure out the subject heading for your topic.

19 Next time we will learn about a useful way of searching the OPAC using keywords.

20 Keywords can help you be a good search detective! Keywords are a useful way of searching: Subject headings Authors Titles

21 Until next time, practice searching the OPAC by subject. What subject headings might describe your favorite hobby? sport? favorite vacation spot? type of music?

22 Subject headings-- The End.

23 Bibliography Butler, Ellis Parker. “Mississippi River Tales.” Photo, online image. Ellis Parker Butler Info. 19 June 2007.. “Finding Books and Journals.” Granite State College Virtual Library. 19 June 2007.. “Horizon Online Catalog.” Hastings Public Library. 19 June 2007.. “Huckleberry Finn.” Photo, online image. Westosha Central High School English Department. 19 June 2007.. Laskin, David. The Children’s Blizzard. New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2004. “Mark Twain.” Photo, online image. 19 June 2007.. “Nebraska.” Outline, image. 19 June 2007.. TE 872. Marilyn Zysset. June, 2007.

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